Target Audience: how to define yours

by Basheer Badran

If you’re going to market to an audience, you’ll need to know who’s in that audience. Recent Pew Research data indicates that millennials have comparably different lifestyles than Baby Boomers and use technology in their daily lives differently than older generations such as Gen Xers.

Here’s a hint before we dig in: your target audience is not “everyone” (unless you’re Google). Your task in defining your social media audience is to identify and understand your niche so you can dominate it.

Target audience definition

A social media target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your social channels. They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. They are likely united by some common characteristics, like demographics, interests and behaviours.

Types of target audiences

Primary target audience: typically, they should get most of your attention since you expect them to become your most valuable group of customers.

Secondary target audience: they are other groups of people with common characteristics who may be interested in your products or services but who are unlikely to become your most valuable customers.

Designing your target audience profile

To start identifying your target audience, you should follow these three steps:

1) Look at your current customer base

Firstly, take a quick look at the people who follow and interact with your brand on social media.

Use the following questions to narrow down your audience.

  • Age: How old is your audience? At what stage of life are they? Does your audience include college students? Recently married couples? Retirees?
  • Location: Where does your audience live?
  • Interests: What other interests does your existing social media audience have? How do their interests relate to your product?

2) Use social listening to find conversations about your brand

Secondly, social listening is a central mean to uncover conversations about your business, your industry, and your products. Monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags reveal what people are saying about you and your competitors online.

3) Start to build a community

Lastly, it’s not enough to know your target audience profile. If you want to connect with a profitable market segment, you need to immerse yourself in the environment you’re working with too.

Social media is another way to start building a community to inform your target audience profile. When you begin to develop followers for your brand, you can host polls and competitions that allow you to learn about your clients. You’ll also be able to interact with your customers.

Summary

Finally, learning how to define your target audience and creating a user profile is now considered the only efficient way for a brand to survive in the current marketplace. Therefore, in a world where your customers expect personalized and unique experiences from their favourite companies, you can’t afford to take a global and generalized approach to your marketing efforts.